By Neil Redfern
The scale of the Communist get together of significant Britain (CPGB) belied its impression; many observed it as a microcosm of the communist-capitalist fight. It had a strong presence in British society regardless of being a minority stream. dependent upon newly on hand assets, Neil Redfern re-examines the circulation and its courting to imperialism. He strains the heritage of British communism from its gradualist roots and unearths that, regardless of international warfare I, the 1917 revolution and mass routine in Asia, Africa and Latin the US, CPGB remained Euro-centred and reformist instead of innovative, even aiding the post-1945 Labour executive.
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Extra resources for Class or Nation: Communists, Imperialism, and Two World Wars
Only after the formation of the Communist International did a section of the left, the communists, argue that the colonial question was central to the struggle for socialism. And from 1928, as the Comintern entered its ‘Third Period’, even they reverted to the Eurocentrism characteristic of the Second International. The socialist parties’ opposition to colonialism was not without a tinge of that ‘white mans’ burden’ paternalism which some used to justify colonialism. Indeed, some such outlook can be discerned in Marx and in Engels.
Similarly, only once was Africa ever mentioned at the Trades Union Congress’. ’38 The trade unions were hardly interested in the colonial question. In 1911 the future Communist MP Shapurji Saklatvala was a member of an ILP committee. which petitioned to no avail ‘a number of trade union leaders with the aim of giving ‘an opportunity for the expression of national concern for our fell (sic) workers in India’39 In 1913 the BSP asked the TUC to urge unions to ask their members to withdraw their children from school on Empire Day as a protest against imperialism.
The consequence of the refusal of the internationalist wing of the BSP to split with the chauvinists is that until 1916, when they gained control of the Party, they spent most of their energies on internecine struggles rather than joining the SLP and a few others in fighting the patriotic tide of 1914. Within days of the outbreak of war Hyndman echoed the official justification by blaming German treaty violations and its attack on ‘plucky’ Belgium. ’ Doubtless and correctly anticipating opposition, the majority asserted that 34 CLASS OR NATION the duty of members was ‘to put aside all internal differences .
Class or Nation: Communists, Imperialism, and Two World Wars by Neil Redfern